Does A Student Visa Allow You To Work?

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May 16, 2022

Many international students work to support themselves while they are studying in Australia. Student visa holders (Subclass 500) and secondary visa holders (e.g. spouse or dependent child of the student visa holder) can work while the student visa is valid.


How Many Hours Can A Student Visa Holder Work?

Subclass 500 student visa holders can work up to 40 hours per fortnight during the semester and unlimited hours during the semester break. Voluntary and unpaid work is not counted towards the fortnightly limit. This means student visa holders can complete an unlimited number of volunteering hours for community services and non-profit organisations. If an internship is a mandatory course requirement (e.g. social work degree), these hours will not count towards the student visa work hour limit. However, any hours worked for optional internships will count towards your student visa work hour limit.


Student Visa Working Restrictions

While student visa holders are allowed to work in Australia, there are some restrictions that they should be aware of:

  • Employment must only commence after the start date of your course
  • Must not exceed 40 hours per fortnight during the semester
  • Must complete your study within the expected duration (based on full-time study load)


Condition 8105

Subclass 500 student visa holders need to adhere to condition 8105, which sets out the following restrictions:

  • May work a maximum of 40 hours per fortnight during the semester
  • May work full-time hours during the semester break or after the completion of their studies as long as their visa is valid
  • Student visa holders studying Masters or a PhD may work full-time and unlimited hours
  • Must not commence employment prior to commencing their studies


Condition 8104

If the student visa includes secondary (dependent) visa holders, they will be subject to condition 8104 restrictions. Secondary visa holders may be dependent family members (e.g. spouse or dependent children under the age of 18) of the primary (main) student visa holder. The condition 8104 restrictions are similar to those of the main visa holder, but with some key differences:

  • Secondary visa holders may work a maximum of 40 hours per fortnight during the semester and the semester break
  • If the main visa holder is studying Masters or a PhD, the secondary visa holder can work unlimited hours


Temporary Work Restriction Relaxation

In response to workforce shortages arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Australian Government has temporarily removed the fortnightly limit for all student visa holders. This means that primary and secondary student visa holders can now work unlimited hours in any sector. Dependent family members are also able to start working prior to the student’s course commencement. It is important to note this is a temporary measure, which will be reviewed by the Australian government in April 2022.


Student visa holders are able to work while they study. If you’re looking for assistance in applying for a student visa, contact AustraliaMigrate today for assistance.

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